Tuesday, February 19, 2013

FTV 2/19/2013 Cadet Snorkeling Adventure

While in Aruba, I got to go snorkeling! This excursion was set up perfectly; we had a muster on the pier at 0745 (15 minutes after  got off of my watch) and filled up two very nice coach busses.  It was a short ride to the dock at Palm Beach, where we got to grab some Dunkin' Donuts! Oh how I miss my iced coffee!

Anyway, we got our wristbands for the catamaran and looked at the gorgeous view of the beach. Approximately 70 cadets embarked on the catamaran, and the crew handed out masks, snorkels, and flippers. I was so excited when I got my equipment, I had never ever been snorkeling before, so this was going to be quite the experience for me!

We took off from the dock and headed to our first stop. Tropical music, sun screen, and laughter filled the air. Located on the bow were two nets for laying out on and the "gangway to the sea" as I like to call it. Once we
made it to our first stop, the crew released the gangway and we would disembark by jumping into the water, gear in hand.

Once I was in, I put on the snorkeling equipment and went to work! It feels like you are in a whole different world once you journey beneath the waves. At that first stop, we got to see a shipwreck! it was just amazing. Zebra fish and tiny guppies swam all around us. The wreck was awesome; we spent about 45 minutes there, and then headed to our next stop.

At our second snorkeling spot, the crew let us jump from the side of the catamaran. at the surface, the waves were a little rough, but just beneath was another mass of zebra fish. Along with the first spot, this spot was
too deep to see the bottom. There was another ship wreck here, but we couldn't see as much of the ship as we did the last one because it was much deeper.

Moving along once again, the crew announced that it was time for lunch. All I had some great Caesar Salad, delicious rice, and some very tasty seasoned fish. Not to mention the desert! Pina Colada pound cake! So yummy. It was good to get some fuel for our last snorkeling spot.

We finally got to a coral reef an could easily see everything on the seafloor. Like I said before, it was just a whole new world to me. We saw some brain coral, fan coral, the day before the cadets saw a puffer fish. But today, a cadet..... brought a huge sea star to the surface. 

Everyone had a blast on this excursion. The food was great and we all got some relaxation time in; under the sea and under the sun. . Approximately 70 cadets embarked on the catamaran, and the crew handed out masks, snorkels, and flippers..

Many Oceanographers who explore under the sea are skilled scuba divers. Scuba diving is swimming underwater using SCUBA - Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Using a cylinder of compressed gas to breathe (usually air, but sometimes other gases), scuba divers can stay underwater much longer than would be possible by just holding their breath - for hours or even days! With the assistance of equipment such as scuba masks, breathing regulators, buoyancy devices, fins, and gauges scuba divers can explore the underwater world.

Learn more about Underwater Ocean Exploration

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